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European Commission

Press release

Brussels, 12 April 2013

Commissioner Vassiliou to meet Marie Curie scientists at CERN

Androulla Vassiliou, Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, will visit the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Geneva, Switzerland, on 15 April to meet scientists and researchers supported with funding from the EU Marie Curie Actions. Members of the team which discovered the Higgs particle last summer (IP/12/755) and researchers who are developing new state-of-the-art 3D imaging to improve cancer treatments are among those she will meet. 35 research training initiatives at CERN have received a total of € 44 million in support from the Marie Curie Actions.

The new cancer therapy project, known as ENTERVISION, the European training network in digital medical imaging for radiotherapy, uses sub-atomic particles to create high-precision radiation-based therapies which aim to improve the early detection of tumours and lead to better treatments. 3D medical imaging provides more accurate information compared with traditional X-ray technology. The project has received 3.8 million from the EU Marie Curie Actions.

Commissioner Vassiliou said: "CERN and the Marie Curie Actions are ideal partners because they share the same philosophy – a commitment to scientific excellence which benefits society. That is why the Commission has urged Member States and the European Parliament to ensure the Marie Curie Actions are funded properly in the future EU budget. I am proud that the Marie Curie Actions contributed to the work in discovering the Higgs Boson and in research projects like ENTERVISION, which will improve cancer treatment and help to train a new generation of researchers in this vitally-important field."

Sixteen young researchers are receiving specialist training as part of the four-year ENTERVISION interdisciplinary (physics, medicine, electronics, informatics, radiobiology, engineering) initiative coordinated by CERN. The project gathers international partners from the public and private sectors, ten leading academic institutions and research centres as well as IBA, a leading European company in particle therapy.

During her visit, the Commissioner will also meet CERN Director-General Rolf Heuer to discuss his organisation's future work with the EU, notably through the Marie Curie Actions, and Swiss Federal Councillor Johann N. Schneider-Ammann, Head of the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research.

Background

What are the Marie Curie Actions?

Marie Curie Actions promote research careers in Europe through a number of funding schemes managed by the European Commission's Research Executive Agency. In total, Marie Curie Actions are supported by € 4.7 billion in EU funds, as part of the 7th Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development (FP7), the EU's main research funding package for 2007-2013 worth a total of 50 billion.

The Marie Curie Actions under FP7 have supported 60 000 researchers of nearly 130 different nationalities. More than half of the research supported through the programme is dedicated to societal challenges such as health, climate change and energy scarcity. 38% of the funded researchers are women and SMEs account for more than half of all businesses participating in the projects.

Since 2007, 570 Swiss projects have benefitted from the Marie Curie scheme, with 220 million in funding.

What will happen to Marie Curie Actions after 2014?

The programme will be maintained under Horizon 2020 and will be renamed the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA). The MSCA will become the main EU programme offering support for excellent doctoral training, supporting 25 000 PhDs. These will include industrial doctorates, joint doctorates, and other high-quality research training. The MSCA will place particular emphasis on combining research with other skills that maximise employability.

Member states have agreed that, in view of its important contribution to a smart, sustainable and inclusive European economy, funding for Horizon 2020 in the next seven years will increase compared to 2013 level. However, the European Parliament and Council still have to reach a final agreement on the new programme.

What is CERN?

CERN is the world's leading laboratory for particle physics. It has its headquarters in Geneva. At present, its member states are Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. Romania is a candidate for accession. Cyprus, Israel and Serbia are associate members in the pre-stage to membership. India, Japan, the Russian Federation, the United States of America, Turkey, the European Commission and UNESCO have observer status.

For more information

European Commission: Education and training

Androulla Vassiliou's website

Follow Androulla Vassiliou on Twitter @VassiliouEU

Entervision CORDIS page

Entervision webpage

CERN

Contacts :

Dennis Abbott (+32 2 295 92 58); Twitter: @DennisAbbott

Dina Avraam (+32 2 295 96 67)


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